A smart phone or a tablet in the hands of the traveler and good connectivity on the move ensures that we, the Indian traveler can rely on our devices to do a lot of our travel planning. As a travel blogger and a regular traveler, I have used many travel apps on my android phone over the course of my many travels and based on multiple uses, I have zeroed in on the top 14. These top 14 android travel apps help with both domestic and international travel and I recommend that you install them and give them a try, if you have not already. I have linked all the apps to their respective page on Google Play to help you find them easily.
Skyscanner is my favorite online flight comparison site. I dig them as they give me the cheapest fares across a wide time frame, which works for a traveler like me who has no schedule pressure. Their spread is also very admirable as they cover both full services and low cost airlines. They work extremely well within India too. The app is very fast and is as good as their web version.
Currencies and their conversion is possibly one of the biggest headaches of the international traveler. I went to Europe and from there to Thailand and then to Singapore. I have US Dollars, Euros and Thai Baht on me and I wish to convert them to Singapore Dollars. The XE currency app comes to my rescue and prevents me from scratching my head in frustration. This application works both in online and offline mode and allows me to convert seamlessly from any of the ten currencies that I have set previously in my app. This app helps me find the best deal and save on those dollars I would have otherwise lost in a ignorant conversion.
Want to become friendly with the locals? Well, every traveler wants that, but doesn’t seem to know their language. Google Translate is a great app out there that allows you to translate into many languages and in most of the cases, they are pretty accurate. This helps in breaking the ice and making for a great holiday. I know that people use the translate tool on the web, but have you used it on your hand held device?
Skype is my go to communication tool for my travels. I have Skype subscriptions and Skype credits. This helps me make extremely cheap international calls home and those urgent local or international calls to a 3rd destination. And of course those video calls when I find good bandwidth. People can also easily reach me on my phone even when I am traveling through my Skype app. It works as if I have a local phone number, but without those excessive international call charges. This helps in breaking that long distance communication barrier and helps me stay up-to-date on those tiny details that happen with family and friends.
I am one of those few people who hardly make a hotel reservation, but a lot of you out there need one due to short holidays. Sometimes, I too need accommodation bookings for visas or during rush dates when everything gets sold out. Booking.com gives me the best spread across the world and I like them more because they allow for full refund in many cases. If not, I get most of my money back on cancellation. Their app is fast and their entire booking process is a breeze.
There is one more hotel booking app that I would recommend, especially for travel within South East Asia. Their spread is commendable in this part of the world. Their interface can be better, but I like them coz they get the job done.
International roaming charges be it data or voice means that we cringe to use our phone on our travels and that is why Whatsapp is so popular the world over. I am also a big user of whatsapp. It helps me connect easily with my family and friends and it hardly uses any bandwidth. Most of us already use Whatsapp even when we are at home, but I give it a special mention here as it helps our family and friends keep track of our location, we can share photos and videos with them and on our Whatsapp groups and thus keep them entertained with our travel stories while we are on the move.
Cleartrip is simple, efficient and super fast. I always use them along with Skyscanner to find out the best flight rates. In addition, I sometimes use them for hotel and train ticket bookings. They are great for domestic travel and also outbound travel from India.
When I feel like I need more space when I am traveling, when I feel like I need to stay with locals and when I feel like I need more bang for the buck especially in expensive cities, I opt for Airbnb. I have used them many times in expensive cities and have always been impressed with the results. If you haven’t heard of Airbnb, I would recommend you look them up. And if you haven’t sampled their services, try them and you will not be disappointed.
This one is a no brainer. Trip Advisor is immensely popular in India and the world over and their reviews are seriously trusted upon. To check a hotel’s review on Trip Advisor has almost become like a habit for me. I am sure it is the same for you too. Hence, download their app if you haven’t already.
Trip Advisor City Guides
These are seriously goof offline guides. Currently, they only cover a few major cities across the world, but they are so good that I am sure Trip Advisor will add to the list of cities soon. They cover all the important aspects of travel and work perfectly for those on a time crunch. They cover the top attractions, top places to eat, top things to do, top places to do and you know what they cover all the important things that the traveler looks for and all this with maps. What else do we need and that too in offline mode.
If you are a foodie, you will love this app. They have great coverage in India and in 12 more countries. They offer interesting tidbits like cost of meals, the menu, the address, maps, reviews, etc. And wherever you go, this app will help you find that best place to eat depending on your palate preferences.
If you are a vegetarian like me, you will like the HappyCow app. They find vegan and vegetarian restaurants across the globe for you with menu details, cost, maps, address and more. They have a paid version too that has no ads, works in offline mode and gets faster updates. Personally, I am happy with the free version. A definite install for all you vegetarian travelers.
After Skyscanner and Cleartrip, my next comparison tool is Kayak. It might not be the best tool when you look at flights out of India, but in the Americas and Europe, it is quite the formidable tool with a great spread. And is possibly the best for those who prefer flying on full service airlines. They also provide hotel bookings, car rentals and more.
If you think that there should be some other android travel app in this list, please do drop in a comment and I will review that app too.